Britain Coordinated Troop Cuts With the US
Defense heads say they agreed southern Iraq was secure enough
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2007 6:55 PM CDT
U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates face a press conference inside Lancaster House in London, Thursday Oct. 11, 2007. Gates met with his British counterpart Des Browne for bilateral talks including...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The British and American defense secretaries say the US was consulted before Britain halved its troops in Iraq, the Los Angeles Times reports, and they agreed southern Iraq was secure enough for the withdrawal. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the withdrawal was coordinated with US commander Gen. David Petraeus, despite concerns over the cuts from some senior US officials.

Gates' British counterpart insisted there is no link between the UK's withdrawal in Iraq and the British situation in Afghanistan, where more troops are needed. "The decisions we take about Iraq are in response to the circumstances and conditions in Iraq, and those decisions we take about Afghanistan are in response to the circumstances and conditions of Afghanistan," Desmond Browne said.